Leadership

Once Reluctant to Speak Out, an Energized Obama Now Calls Out His Successor

MIAMI — Former President Barack Obama’s voice has a way of lifting into a high-pitched tone of astonishment when he talks about his successor, almost as if he still cannot believe that the Executive Mansion he occupied for eight… Peter Baker The New York Times For most of the last two years, he stewed about it in private, only occasionally speaking out. But as he hit the campaign trail this fall, Mr. Obama has vented his exasperation loud and often, assailing his ... Read More »

Power, privilege and public good

What does it really take to be aware of power and to give it up? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about power. Kristy Muir The Mandarin Who has it, who doesn’t; who knows it, who is blind to it and the consequences of how it is consciously and… In September, I had the privilege of moderating a couple of sessions at the Philanthropy Australia conference. Besides an incredible event with hundreds of people and some great sessions, it pressed ... Read More »

Why Europe still needs Merkel

Even the German leader’s biggest critics are worried about what will happen when she goes. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Europe’s queen is dead! But is she really? And if so, will there be a new queen? Or maybe a king? As if Europe didn’t have enough to worry about at the moment (Italy, Brexit, Poland, Hungary, populism … Italy!), Germany is back on the boil. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision this week to step aside from the leadership of her Christian Democrats may ... Read More »

Christians’ crisis of faith threatens Norwegian government

Kingmakers torn over prospect of ousting conservatives and installing center-left alliance. Anca Gurzu Politico The future of Norway’s conservative-led government has been thrown into doubt by a small Christian party, which will decide on Friday whether to keep supporting the ruling coalition or push the country to the left. The Christian Democratic Party (KrF) is not formally part of Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s minority administration but backs the government in key parliamentary votes. KrF leader Knut Arild Hareide shocked the country at the end of… Christians’ ... Read More »

Sri Lanka: Stepping Back from a Constitutional Crisis

The return to power of controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s prime minister is unconstitutional and destabilising. ICG International actors should make future security and economic cooperation contingent on parliament reconvening immediately to select a prime minister through legal channels. What’s new? On 26 October, Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena abruptly dismissed the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and appointed controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the premier’s post, in a move that contravenes the constitution and threatens to destabilise ... Read More »

How Brazil’s left should respond to Bolsonaro

SÃO PAULO — Brazilians have now democratically elected a far-right president who is obsessed with death and torture and brags about his love of firearms. Rosana Pinheiro-Machado The Washington Post The flagship policies of president-elect Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain, involve harsher penalties for criminal offenses and legalizing firearms. “Good citizens,” he argues, must be able to defend themselves against “bandits,” a term he uses loosely. He has called left-wing and liberal activists “red outlaws” who must be “banished ... Read More »

What Thucydides Knew About the US Today

On the morning after the 2016 presidential election I tried to distract myself by reading some pages of Thucydides that I had assigned for a class the next day, and found myself reading the clearest explanation I had seen of the… Edward Mendelson The New York Review of Books In the third book of his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides describes the outbreak of civil war on the northern island of Corcyra in 427 BC: There was the revenge taken in ... Read More »

Bolsonaro wins Brazil election, promises to purge leftists from country

After the most polarized and divisive campaign in its modern history, Brazil has elected as its next president a right-wing politician who openly disdains human rights and admires military dictators. Helder Ferreira The Conversation Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old congressman who had strong evangelical backing for his law-and-order stance on policing, support for gun rights and opposition to abortion, won 55.7 percent of votes. Bolsonaro’s leftist competitor, Fernando Haddad, a former education minister and ex-mayor of São Paulo, received 45 percent of the… Bolsonaro’s angry, populist… Bolsonaro wins Brazil… Read More »

Merkel government shaken by regional vote battering

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government on Oct. 28 suffered a beating in a second key regional election in as many weeks, multiplying questions over the future of the veteran leader’s fragile alliance. FRANKURT – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Weakened by a strong backlash against immigration after allowing over a million people into Germany since 2015, Merkel’s fourth government has staggered from one crisis to the next since being formed earlier this year. According to an exit poll by public broadcaster ARD in Hesse state, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union ... Read More »

Sri Lankan president suspends parliament after firing prime minister

A constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka deepened on Saturday as President Maithripala Sirisena temporarily suspended parliament a day after sacking the prime minister and replacing him with a… Reuters The Age Sirisena fired Ranil Wickremesinghe and swore in former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as his replacement late on Friday in a move cheered by Rajapaksa’s supporters but described as a… The president’s order to suspend parliament until November 16 was widely seen as an attempt to stop Wickremesinghe from trying to ... Read More »

‘First thing’: Phelps set sights on reviving fortunes of climate body

Kerryn Phelps, the likely new member for Wentworth, will push for the revival of the near-defunct Climate Change Authority as part of her efforts to advance action on global warming at a federal level. Peter Hannam Brisbane Times Dr Phelps, who appears to hold an unassailable lead of 1783 votes for the seat vacated by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, said her determination to emphasise cutting carbon emissions and advancing renewable energy was reinforced by a meeting in Sydney on Saturday with ... Read More »

The UN Wants to be Our World Government By 2030

In the 1960s, an informed but naïve undergraduate, I was walking across the campus of the University of Pennsylvania with the Chairman of the Chemistry Department, Prof. Charles C. Price. E. Jeffrey Ludwig American Thinker He told me that he was president of the United World Federalists, and asked if I knew what that organization was. When I said that I did not, he replied that they believed in a one-world government that would grow out of the United Nations. ... Read More »

Brian Wilson: Leipzig shows how history’s giants bring people together

In Leipzig, Brian Wilson finds evidence of the greatness of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who took an extraordinary decision that helped make the reunification of Germany a success. Brian Wilson The Scotsman It is surely a paradox of history that so much time now has to be spent resisting efforts to create new borders when most of the past couple of centuries’ heroes are those who brought people together. This week, I was in two German cities – Berlin for ... Read More »

Bahrain says ‘Arab NATO’ to be formed by next year

The alliance aims to include six Gulf countries and Egypt, though Saudi-led blockade on Qatar remains an obstacle. Al Jazeera Bahrain‘s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has said a planned Gulf security alliance, expected to include Egypt, will be formed by next year. At a security summit in capital Manama on Saturday, Khalifa said the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), an initiative pushed by US President Donald Trump to confront Iran, will help the Gulf remain “a… “It (MESA) is an alliance ... Read More »

UN names Human Rights Prize winners for 2018

Asma Jahangir, Rebeca Gyumi, Joenia Wapichana and Front Line Defenders honoured by the UN for promoting human rights. Al Jazeera The United Nations has hailed the “inspiring” work of four individuals and organisations as it announced the winners of its Human Rights Prize for 2018. The honour was given on Friday to Asma Jahangir, the late Pakistani lawyer and leading human rights defender, along with Tanzanian activist Rebeca Gyumi, Brazil’s first indigenous lawyer Joenia Wapichana and Irish human rights groups Front… UN names Human… Read More »

NDIS funds to be ‘repurposed’ for drought relief under Morrison plan

Disability advocates have slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to “repurpose” $3.9 billion originally set aside for the NDIS to pay for drought relief, but the plan has been cautiously welcomed by… Dana McCauley The Sydney Morning Herald Mr Morrison unveiled his $5 billion Drought Future Fund at a summit attended by farmers, economists, industry bodies and state and federal ministers in Canberra on Friday, promising measures to drought-proof the… The first $3.9 billion of the scheme, which would operate ... Read More »